PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — If nothing else, it’s a promising start to a new decade.
The Wahama girls basketball had its first winning-season since 2009-10 come to an end at the hands of top-ranked Parkersburg Catholic in the Class A Region IV, Section 1 semifinal on Tuesday in Wood County, with the No. 1 seed Crusaderettes taking a 77-38 victory over the fourth-seeded Lady Falcons, who entered play on a five-game winning streak.
Parkersburg Catholic (23-0) — which has won all-23 games by double-digit margins — never trailed in the contest, scoring the first 13 points. After six turnovers and four missed shots, Wahama (13-11) ended the shut out with an Emma Gibbs two-pointer off an assist from Victoria VanMatre 3:29 into play.
The Crusaderettes went on a 15-to-2 run over the remainder of the stanza, however, and took a 28-4 lead into the second.
Each team found the mark on a pair of three-pointers in the second period, with Parkersburg Catholic outscoring WHS 17-to-11 for a 45-15 halftime lead.
The hosts scored five of the first six points in the second half, but WHS answered with back-to-back trifectas from Lauren Noble and Hannah Rose. PCHS went on to close the quarter with a 12-to-4 run, and headed into the finale with a 62-26 edge.
The Lady Falcons claimed the first four points of the finale, but PCHS took the next seven and led 69-30 with 5:00 to play. WHS went on an 8-to-4 run over the next 3:30, but surrendered the last four points of the game and fell by a 77-38 final tally.
The Red and White won the rebounding battle by a 34-to-28 clip, including 15-to-11 on the offensive end, but WHS committed 31 turnovers, 20 more than Parkersburg Catholic. Of the Crusaderettes’ 11 turnovers, only one came in the first half.
Collectively, the Lady Falcons earned eight assists, seven steals and four blocks, while PCHS ended with 24 steals, 16 assists and two rejections.
Wahama made 14-of-47 (29.8 percent) field goal attempts, including 4-of-20 (20 percent) three-point tries, while Parkersburg Catholic was 31-of-63 (49.2 percent) from the field, including 6-of-20 (30 percent) from deep. At the foul line, WHS went 6-for-8 (75 percent), while the hosts were 9-for-14 (64.3 percent).
Rose — a career 1,000-point scorer and the Lady Falcons’ lone senior — led the guests with 14 points, featuring a team-best two three-pointers. Amber Wolfe was next with six points, all of which came in the final quarter.
Gibbs scored five points and recorded team-highs of 13 rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots for Wahama. VanMatre and Noble scored four points apiece, with VanMatre earning a team-best three assists. Rounding out the Lady Falcon scoring, Mikie Lieving had three points and Morgan Christian chipped in with two.
Leslie Huffman led the victors with 25 points, a dozen of which came from beyond the arc. Madeline Huffman recorded 17 points and game-highs of nine steals and six assists for PCHS, while Aaliyah Brunny scored a dozen. Lainie Ross was next with 10 points, followed by Jenna Boice with nine, as well as Madison Ross and Deborah Hardbarger with two each. Madison Ross grabbed a team-best seven rebounds for the victors.
The Crusaderettes — who will host third-seeded Williamstown in the section final on Friday — have now ended the Lady Falcons’ postseason for three straight years.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.